Asher Shalom, the immigrant owner of a business who employs many immigrants, says he cannot understand why his recently opened café was protested ostensibly over his support for President Trump and White House immigration policies.
“My life is all with immigrants,” stated Shalom, who was shocked by the anti-Semitic, anti-American rhetoric he says came from protesters outside his café. Recalling protesters calling him racist and a Nazi, Shalom stated, “I don’t know what is the connection to my coffee shop.”
Shalom was speaking in an interview on this reporter’s talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” Broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia.
Last week, radical left protesters shouted at patrons and attempted to block the entrance to Asher Cafe & Lounge during its grand opening in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Urged on by supporters, Shalom, together with the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, a bipartisan group that works to empower U.S. businesses, is planning a second grand opening August 8.
A Facebook post by a group calling itself Defend Boyle Heights had demanded protesters show up to last week’s grand opening, claiming Shalom was an “anti-immigrant Trump loving gentryfier! If he hates immigrants so much, he can stay the f*ck out of our hood!” Defend Boyle Heights brands itself as “an anti-gentrification coalition.”
Shalom’s alleged offense was to retweet four tweets by President Trump, including one exclaiming that the U.S. immigration system is “broken,” referring to the flaws in the vetting process:
Our legal system is broken! “77% of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries.” (WT) SO DANGEROUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2017
Shalom also reportedly shared a photo on his Facebook page reading, “I wish Democrats would fight as hard for Americans, as they do for illegals.”
Besides the café, Shalom is owner of Asher Fabric Concepts, which he says employs over 70 people, including immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala.
Shalom himself is an immigrant from Israel who says the day he became a U.S. citizen 15 years ago he “cried like a baby. It was so emotional.”
He said that he watched over the years as other firms in the fabric business outsourced their work to countries like China and South Korea, and is proud that “all our fabrics are manufactured made in USA.”
He said that he has lived in Boyle Heights for almost five years and never once had a problem with the community.
Shalom’s son David was at the grand opening last week when he says he watched as leftist protesters attempted to block patrons from attending.
“The contrast is just so clear in the bigger picture,” David Shalom said. “While these people were berating police officers to their faces for hours and cursing at them we were welcoming everyone. The whole community with warm arms.”
David Shalom continued: “It was very concerning to me as a millennial, as well. Because most of these protesters were millennials. And I am witnessing this growing movement in America of intolerance from the radical left. And it just begs the question of what kind of society am I going to live in. Are my children going to live in, even. And I think civil discourse on the left is slowly eroding.”
The saga in part began after the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce approached Shalom to become a member. The Chamber was scheduled to attend the grand opening but it terminated his membership just a few days before. Chamber President Jennifer Lahoda cited his Facebook post sharing the photo talking about Democrats fighting for “illegals” and she claimed that Shalom expressed views that “are not in line with the values and objectives of the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce.”
“Boyle Heights thrives because of our diverse immigrant population,” Lahoda wrote. The Chamber will always celebrate and support this fact. We will not support anyone who chooses to conduct themselves in a hateful manner, especially toward members of our community.”
In response to the uproar, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce has taken a central role in planning the grand reopening while the cafe is currently officially up and running.
Duvi Honig, founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, told Breitbart News: “We are proud to step in and help arrange the ribbon cutting for Asher Cafe and help bring unity and love to this county in a bipartisan manner while helping the cafe voice its message of peace to the community loud and clear.”